A match made in Paradise!
Chris Randone and Krystal Nielson, who fell in love and got engaged on Bachelor in Paradise last June, exchanged vows in front of fellow Bachelor Nation alum on – where else? – the site of their very first date in Mexico.
“We are so excited to start this new chapter of our lives together,” Nielson tells PEOPLE exclusively. “We will have each other’s backs forever.”
Randone and Nielson, both 31, became husband and wife in an intimate ceremony officiated by Chris Harrison at the Vidanta Hotel in Puerto Vallarta. Former Paradise castmates and Bachelor stars were on hand, including Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon, Becca Kufrin and Ben Higgins, to witness the I Do’s, which capped off a whirlwind romance.
Randone, a sales trainer, and Nielson, a fitness coach, each went on dates with other Paradise cast members (Tia Booth and Kenny King, respectively) eventually found their way to each other and remained hot and heavy through the season. In the end, Randone proposed with a 2-carat pear-shaped Neil Lane ring.
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By October, the couple was living together in San Diego. “It was fast,” Randone acknowledges. “But in that environment, it’s equivalent to months of dating. We accomplished a lot more in a shorter amount of time.”
And ultimately, Randone and Nielson say they’re grateful for each other – and for the positive changes their relationship has brought to each other’s lives.
“I was very thick-skinned and hard-shelled when I got to Paradise,” Randone previously told PEOPLE. “I was not myself. I was trying to act like this tough guy, that I had an ego.”
Continued Randone: “She pulled me aside and said, ‘You need to be more self-aware or you’re going to lose friendships here and you’re going to lose me.’ I realized that this woman came out of nowhere to give me direction. I felt it from her heart and I realized that if I don’t change now and be vulnerable, I’m going to lose this incredible woman.”
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Nielson, who, like Randone, grew up with a single mother, said she related to Randone’s initial aloofness. “We were both hard-skinned because we went through tough times, and we bonded over that. I could understand him.”
Now, the newlyweds say they’re looking forward to the future – and to one day, starting a family.
“I’ve always dreamed of being a husband and a father,” Randone says. “And I have the perfect partner by my side.”
Bachelor Nation can tune in to Chris and Krystal’s wedding when it airs on August 5 as part of the upcoming season premiere of Bachelor in Paradise.